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Cohen Denies Knowledge of Collusion in Congressional Testimony But Slams Trump As ‘Conman’

Michael Cohen arrives for his sentencing at the U.S. Court house in Manhattan, N.Y., December 12, 2018. (Jeenah Moon/Reuters )

President Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen will deny having any knowledge of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia when he testifies before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, but he will accuse, and provide documents to prove, that his former boss committed “illicit” acts.

“Questions have been raised about whether I know of direct evidence that Mr. Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia. I do not. I want to be clear. But, I have my suspicions,” Cohen will say, according to his opening statement, which was released Tuesday night.

Cohen’s expected testimony will refute previous reporting that he travelled to Prague in 2016 to pay Russian hackers for releasing the stolen Democratic National Committee emails that harmed Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

While he maintains he has no “direct evidence” of collusion, Cohen will claim that Trump had advance knowledge that Wikileaks planned to publish the hacked DNC emails. Cohen is expected to testify that he heard Roger Stone tell Trump that he had been in contact with Wikileaks’ Julian Assange, who informed him the DNC email leak was forthcoming.

“A lot of people have asked me about whether Mr. Trump knew about the release of the hacked Democratic National Committee emails ahead of time. The answer is yes,” Cohen will testify. “He was a presidential candidate who knew that Roger Stone was talking with Julian Assange about a WikiLeaks drop of Democratic National Committee emails.”

In addition to describing consequential events that occurred during the campaign, Cohen will impugn Trump’s character and apologize for his role in furthering his efforts.

“I am ashamed that I chose to take part in concealing Mr. Trump’s illicit acts rather than listening to my own conscience,” Cohen will say. “I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is. He is a racist. He is a conman. He is a cheat.”

 

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